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Questions to ask your doctor about hospital care after delivery

You are going to give birth to a baby. You may want to know about the things to do or avoid during your hospital stay. You may also want to know about the care you receive at the hospital. Below are some questions you may ask your health care provider about your stay at the hospital.

Questions

How should I prepare for my hospital stay?

  • Should I preregister with the hospital?
  • Can the hospital reasonably accommodate my birth plan?
  • If I need to come during off-hours, what entrance should I use?
  • Can I schedule a tour ahead of time?
  • What should I pack to bring to the hospital? Can I wear my own clothes?
  • Can a family member stay with me in the hospital?
  • How many people can attend my delivery?
  • What are my options for food and beverages?

Can I breastfeed my baby right after birth?

  • If I want, can I have skin-to-skin contact with my baby right after birth?
  • Will there be a lactation consultant who can help with breastfeeding?
  • How often should I breast feed while in the hospital?
  • Can my baby stay in my room?
  • Can my baby be cared for in the nursery if I need to sleep or shower?

What should I expect in first 24 hours post-delivery?

  • Will I stay in the same room as the delivery, or will I be moved to a postpartum room?
  • Will I have a private room?
  • How long will I stay in the hospital?
  • What types of exams or tests will I receive after delivery?
  • What exams or tests will by baby receive after delivery?
  • What will my pain management options be?
  • How often will my OB/GYN visit? How often will my baby's pediatrician visit?
  • If I require a Cesarean birth (C-section), how will that affect my care?

Alternate Names

What to ask your doctor about hospital care for mom

References

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists website. ACOG Committee Opinion. Optimizing postpartum care. Number 736, May 2018. www.acog.org/Resources-And-Publications/Committee-Opinions/Committee-on-Obstetric-Practice/Optimizing-Postpartum-Care. Accessed July 10, 2019.

Isley MM, Katz VL. Postpartum care and long-term health considerations. In: Gabbe SG, Niebyl JR, Simpson JL, et al., eds. Obstetrics: Normal and Problem Pregnancies. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2017:chap 23.

Review Date 6/30/2019

Updated by: John D. Jacobson, MD, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Loma Linda University School of Medicine, Loma Linda Center for Fertility, Loma Linda, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.